Behind the red mist: fiction
Behind the Red Mist gives us for the first time in English a wide range of stories from the most important writer of the post-war generation in Vietnam. The characters range from a party official who turns into a goat while watching porno movies, to an Indian who carries his mother's bones in his knapsack, to a war widow trying desperately to piece together her life through the fragments of debris she collects from her back yard. The title novella "Behind the Red Mist" is a Vietnamese "Back To the Future", a social satire in which a young man in the Hanoi of the eighties receives an electric shock and is transported back to his same apartment block in 1967 wartime Vietnam during the American bombing. He not only witnesses the war with the eyes of someone who knows its outcome, but participates in his parents' courtship and discovers some truths about the generation held up to his own as a role model.
On the cutting-edge of the postwar generation of Vietnamese writers, Ho Anh Thai is known for his bitingly sharp and gently whimsical fiction. Chris King commented in Riverfront Time: "Ho Anh Thai tells ... the deepest, most nuanced tales ... (he) goes deep into the horrors of war without ever laying a heavy hand on the page. Simple hurrah details give way to the rawest suffering, which in turn is survived by that same human understanding".
One of the Vietnam's most prolific writers and winner of several of its most prestigious literary awards, Ho Anh Thai was published in the leading literary magazines while still in high school. The author of eleven books, he is also a diplomat who served in India and the Middle East. Currently he is an editor for World Affairs Weekly.
#2 in Voicesfrom Vietnam Series.
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